Foden thanks Southgate for keeping faith in him following double against Iceland

Foden thanks Southgate for keeping faith in him following double against Iceland

Best of friends

Much criticism has come Gareth Southgate’s way for his passive tactics of late, without enough impetus on offensive play. His side’s 4-0 rout of Iceland, though, will go some way towards regaining support and momentum.

Declan Rice and Mason Mount started England’s latest outing together, and both scored. Highly-regarded West Ham midfielder Rice spoke of his happiness, both from a personal standpoint and for his lifelong friend, after the game:

“We have been best mates since we were eight years old. We have seen each others’ journeys and seen each other grow.

“Before the game when we knew we were playing in midfield together, that was a special moment, and then to score in the same game was incredible. I know my family and his family will be bursting with pride at home.”

The possibility of Rice and Mount playing together on a weekly bases in the near future is not out of the question. Chelsea have reportedly shown significant interest in bringing Rice to Stamford Bridge, with close friend Mount a potential pull for the Blues

Foden thanks Southgate

Phil Foden’s double on Wednesday represents a strong turnaround for the Manchester City midfielder. Sent home following the reverse fixture in Reykjavik for breaking quarantine rules, the 20-year-old lashed home his second this time around to cap off a brilliant performance:

Speaking after the clash, the City youngster was full of praise for coach Southgate.

“It was one of the hardest moments of my life. That’s the time you need the trust of your managers and Gareth had a lot of respect for me, to trust me to play tonight,” Foden said, recalling the aforementioned incident in Iceland.

“I am just happy to repay him with the goals and play well. I was just determined to get back and do the best I can. I was a bit nervous at the start but I got used to it.”

England goalscorers Mount, Foden and Rice are all of 21 years of age or under, highlighting the talented youth blossoming throughout the Three Lions setup. Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho provide further exciting prospects for Southgate.

Following a humbling at the hands of Belgium, it was evident that tactical changes were needed for England. And, on the evidence of the country’s latest performance, such changes have not taken long in coming to fruition.

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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7 West Ham United FC 19 5 32
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Premier League 20/21
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Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
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Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
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Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 5